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Soldier returns from Iraq, celebrates his son's first birthday

By ErinPradia
Dec. 23, 2011 at 6:23 a.m.
Updated Dec. 24, 2011 at 6:24 a.m.

Travis Britt is home from Iraq in time to celebrate his son's first birthday and spend Christmas with his family. The Britt family, left to right, is Tracy, 26, Angelina, 5, Gabriel, 1, and Travis, 32.

Travis Britt came home from his fourth tour in Iraq in time to spend Christmas with his family - and to celebrate his son Gabriel's first birthday.

"When I left, he was still in a crib. Now he's walking and laughing," Britt said. "He doesn't look the same as when I left. His personality has really developed."

The 32-year-old veteran flew back from Kuwait on Tuesday and joined his wife, Tracy Britt, 26, and their children Angelina Britt, 5, and Gabriel Britt, who turned 1 on Dec. 17, in Killeen.

"It's wonderful to be home for both kids' birthdays and for Christmas," Britt said. Angelina will turn 6 on Jan. 7.

Britt said the most difficult part of being deployed was the 12-hour time difference.

"It was difficult to know when it was a good time to call home," Britt said. "I would call home very late at night, and it was the wee hours of the morning for them."

But Tracy helped her children remember their father through pictures around the house.

"Gabriel recognized my voice as well. When I called home he would try to take the phone away from Tracy," Britt said.

Britt was in the last group of soldiers to cross from Iraq to Kuwait in October and he helped disassemble the bases until the last one closed earlier this month.

The Britt family came down to Victoria to spend Christmas with their extended family.

Four generations of Britt's family and close family friends gathered at La Hacienda on Rio Grande Street to celebrate Gabriel's birthday on Friday.

"You miss 'em all the time. He better be home for good - or at least close by," Victoria Corte, Britt's mother, said. "Since Christmas is all about family and friends, it doesn't feel right not having all your babies home."

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